Movies - TV
The Very
Meta Meaning Behind The Museum Scene In Ferris Bueller's Day Off
In "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," Cameron pauses in front of George Seurat's "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" at the Chicago Art Institute, and the camera goes back and forth between him and the girl in white at the center of the painting. According to director John Hughes, the painting’s pointillist style is a metaphor for both filmmaking and Cameron’s insecurities.
With the intense close-ups used in the scene, viewers can only focus on the girl’s countless tiny dots instead of getting the full picture of Seurat’s painting. Hughes explains in the video commentary, "I always thought this painting was sort of like making a movie, the pointillist style [...] You don't have any idea what you've made until you step back from it.”
This metaphor about pointillism also applies to the neurotic and sensitive Cameron, who is quite different from the smart and happy-go-lucky Ferris. Hughes says that the more Cameron looks at Seurat’s painting, he feels that “there's nothing there. He fears that the more you look at him, the less you see."